Executive Director Sara Leishman and Artistic Director Kerry Clarke said the festival, which was canceled in July 2020 due to the pandemic, will be reimagined for 2021 as an outdoor concert series called CFMF Summer Serenades . It will be designed to ensure the safety of attendees as 36 Canadian artists – including Shad, Hawksley Workman, Cowboy Junkies, Terra Lightfoot and Dan Mangan – perform on the main stage of the event from July 22-28.
The event will require everyone to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, including masks and physical distancing, Leishman told the Open your eyes to Calgary Tuesday morning.
« [We want] to make sure it’s just a really nice environment for people to come to the park and listen to live music – probably for many for the first time in a long time, ”Leishman said.
Months of planning
To find a comfortable way to move forward, Leishman said the organizers of the CFMF Summer Serenades have been having conversations with stakeholders, all levels of government and volunteers for months.
Although the Alberta government anticipates that all health restrictions related to COVID-19 could be lifted by July, Leishman said it was a priority to ensure the event is inclusive for people with different levels of disease. comfort.
“We’re just trying to create a really respectful and safe environment for everyone,” Leishman said. ” [And] the response has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. “
As such, the event will be modest in scope compared to others slated for the summer, like the Calgary Stampede – but Leishman said the hope is that it looks like a safe and well-organized reintroduction. to live music.
“Our approach has always been to make sure that when we’re ready to advertise, we can give people as much information as possible,” said Leishman.
“And really to demonstrate what we’re planning to do, so people can make their own decisions about attending our event. “
Purchasers of CFMF Summer Serenades tickets will be allocated space for their tarpaulins and blankets. The spaces will measure 6 by 8 feet, or approximately 2 by 2.5 meters, large enough to accommodate up to four adults and two children.
The event will also be limited to 15% of its usual capacity, so it will be able to accommodate approximately 1,200 adults and 600 children if full.
As they move around the site, participants will be asked to wear their masks – but may be completely unmasked to enjoy the food and drink in their space. The organizers applied for a liquor license.
And while familiar amenities such as the family-friendly Folk Fest area, craft market, and daytime stages won’t be returning, Clarke said they’re optimistic that seeing live shows again would be a welcome change for Calgarians. .
“People are really excited to perform in front of a live audience, [and] I think the audience will be so excited to see them, ”Clarke said.
“So that’s really a small step back on the road to recovery, and it’s our ability to do what we do best, which is to present live music. “
Tickets for the CFMF Summer Serenades will go on sale to the public on Friday at 10 a.m.
Full lineup, times and tickets are available at calgaryfolkfest.com.
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.